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How Much Is Boat Insurance

How Much Is Boat Insurance

3 Boat Insurance Questions to Ask Your Agent | BoatUS

The average cost of boat insurance is $200 to $500 a yearalthough for a really big or expensive boat , insurance can cost around 15% of the boats value. For example, you may pay about $2,500 a year to insure a $100,000 yacht.

But just like other insurance rates vary, boat insurance costs change depending on you and your boat.

How Much Boat Insurance Do I Need

Beyond any state legislation or binding agreements with your lender or marina, the answer to this question may come down to your individual tolerance for risk. As discussed in earlier questions, some states do have minimum requirements for liability insurance coverage. Check with your state government to see whether you are required to meet a coverage threshold. The amount of boat insurance you may need depends on a number of factors, including the boatâs value, motor size, and age. Like other vehicles, high-performance boats will likely command a higher level of coverage to compensate for the amount of damage they are able to inflict.

Damage Values And Policy Types

Remember that insurance companies will rate the depreciation of your boat, age, wear, tear, and model when deciding payout on the damages.

This is called an actual cash value policy where depreciation is considered.

A new yacht may be worth $500,000, but that value could decrease exponentially after it ages ten or fifteen years.

In contrast, an agreed value policy for your boat will set the original value of the yacht in stone and will be the maximum payout value in the event of an accident or total loss of the boat. However, this type of policy can be more expensive.

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Will My Driving Record Affect My Premiums

Many people wonder if their driving records will impact their sailboat insurance premiums. In most cases, the answer is a resounding “yes.” If you have a stellar driving record and lots of years on the road, you can expect to pay less than your younger or less experienced counterparts.

If you have a history of accidents, a DUI/DWI, or other issues, you’ll likely pay more . The longer you stay safe and responsible, the lower your rate will be.

On a similar note, your age can have a significant impact on the price of liveaboard sailboat insurance. Younger people, specifically in their late teens and early 20s, usually have to pay higher premiums. This is because people in that age range are far more likely to cause an accident.

The best way to avoid paying more because of your driving record is to keep it clean, avoid alcohol, and take driver’s or boater’s safety courses whenever possible. A ticket can have a ripple effect across all of your insurance plans, so it’s best to get them expunged with courses whenever possible.

How Does Boat Insurance Protect You

How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost?

Boat insurance coverage depends on your state, your insurance company and the coverage options you choose, Shasha explains. Standard options typically include:

  • Physical damage. This includes damage caused by collisions with another boat or a submerged object.
  • Liability. If you cause an accident with your boat or someone is injured while aboard, the bodily injury or damage to the property of others is covered.
  • Personal property. If the boat sinks, your items, such as phones, cameras and fishing gear may be covered.
  • Towing and assistance. Per Shasha, this includes reimbursement for emergency transportation of your boat to the closest repair facility when its inoperable, gas delivery and roadside assistance reimbursement.
  • Theft. Most boat insurance policies cover theft of the boat itself, but might not cover theft of items onboard.

Two areas that may or may not be covered, but are definitely worth asking about:

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Do You Need Boat Insurance

Your home insurance policy covers your boat in some cases, but it doesnt go far. Homeowners policies typically cap boat coverage at $1,000 or 10% of your homes insured value. And liability coverage which pays for damage your boat does to others typically isnt included under home insurance. So a home insurance policy might help you only if your boat is small, slow and inexpensive.

At a glance: Do I need boat insurance?

  • Anything that runs faster than 25 mph
  • Canoes
  • Any other small, slow, inexpensive boat
  • Property Damage Or Physical Damage

    This is where damage to your yacht comes in.

    Say you hit the dock when pulling into port like above only this time your yacht is severely damaged as well and needs to be repaired for thousands of dollars.

    Having great insurance coverage on your yacht will protect you in this situation and will most likely take care of any damages you have minus your deductible on damages, which can be as high as $1,000.

    You always have to pay the amount of your deductible on boatowners insurance, regardless of fault or if it was an accident so keep that in mind.

    For example, if damages to your yacht are $30,000 and you have a $1,000 deductible, your insurance company will only pay you $29,000. This is typically called Hull coverage.

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    How Much Will Boat Insurance Cost Me

    11 Minute Read | September 22, 2021

    Boats are a highlight of summer! Theyre flashy, fun . . . and freaking expensive to repair or replace. Thats why its better to pay for boat insurance than to hope youll get by with zero accidents.

    Boat insurance protects you financially if your boat is involved in an accident where property gets damaged or someone gets hurt. On average, boat insurance costs $200 to $500 a yearor around 15% of your boats value if you have a big, powerful or expensive boat.

    Lets talk about what affects the average boat insurance cost, what it covers and where to get it.

    Is Boat Insurance Mandatory In Canada

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    No. Although insurance isnt legally required for boats or personal watercraft under Canadian law, its highly recommended for boat owners. Remember: your boat, along with other marine equipment, like your trailer, fish-finders, and trolling motors, will all be covered under a good boat insurance policy.

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    Best Boat Insurance Of 2021

    • Rates starting at around $21 per month

    • Great coverage including many extras

    • Limited info on restrictions and exclusions to coverage


    Allstate offers a very comprehensive lineup of options for boat coverage, including:

    • Watercraft liability coverage
    • Additional equipment and personal effects
    • Trailer coverage
    • Emergency services
    • Agreed value


    Even though Allstate offers boat coverage starting at about $21 per month, it doesnt shy away from discounts. You may qualify for the following when you insure your boat with Allstate:

    • Multiple Policy Discount Up to 20% off when you combine your boat insurance with an Allstate homeowners policy
    • Full-Pay Discount 10% off for paying your full premium upfront
    • Homeownership Discount 10% off for owning a home
    • Boat Education Discount 5% off when you take an approved boater safety class
    • Easy Pay Plan Discount 5% off when you enroll in automatic payments


    Unlike other insurance companies, Allstate places very few limitations on its boat coverage. However, some types of coverage and discounts are not to be had in all states, so its best to contact a local Allstate agent to verify the availability of coverage and discounts before switching over to Allstate for your boat insurance.

    Additional Perks

    Allstate offers the best of both worlds to its customers: local agents to help you with your insurance needs, as well as online tools and an 800 number to get questions answered anytime.

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    Factors That Impact Insurance

    Different boats will potentially require different amounts of coverage depending on many factorsand these aspects can also impact how much you’ll pay for your policy. Some of the most common variables with determining the best plan for you are:

    Length. The length of a boat can impact size and ease of control on the water, as well as affect its likelihood of being in certain kinds of accidents.

    Type. Sailboats, pontoon boats, utility boats, bass boats, ski vessels, cabin cruisers, utility boats, and deep-sea fishing boats have different builds and equipment, creating different insurance needs.

    Horsepower and Speed. The faster a boat can go, the higher the risk it has for an accident. Expect a quicker motor to cost a bit more to insure.

    Value. More expensive boats tend to be costlier to cover. Just like sailboat prices and power boat prices will differ as you shop for them, you can expect to see comparable differences when it comes to insurance premiums. Knowing your boat’s worth can help you estimate your insurance costs.

    Age. Similarly, older boats tend to have less value than newer ones, which will impact what it costs to insure them.

    Cruising area. The risks you’ll encounter on an ocean are likely to differ from those of sailing on a river. Depending on where you plan to sail, you may need different coverage options.

    Do You Really Need Boat Insurance

    Do I Need Boat Insurance? How Much Does It Cost?

    Well, if the boat in question is a kayak, canoe or raft built out of pallets and twine, then no, you dont.

    But if you have a Bennington S16 Narrow Beam pontoon boat, a Hatteras 100 Raised Pilot yacht or almost any boat in between, then yes, you need boat insurance. At least if you want to be a responsible boat owner and operator, that is.

    Now, if the question is Do I need boat insurance from a legal standpoint? Then no.

    In most states, you dont legally need to have any form of boat insurance unless your boat is considered an asset involved in a loan or a lease agreement.

    Having a boat insurance policy could well mean the difference between lifelong peace of mind or an accident causing financial ruin. Imagine the theft or sinking of your boat leaving you without your prized vessel and with absolutely no recourse.

    Think of it like this: No one legally forces you to put the bar down on the ski lift or to tie your shoes before you go for a run, but its still a good idea to do those things, right?

    Same story with boat insurance. You hope you never fall out of the chairlift or trip while running but using the bar and tying your laces are both good ways to help ensure that doesnt happen.

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    Saving Money On Boat Insurance

    Some of the factors that determine the cost of insurance are out of your control, while others you can pay attention to and help yourself get a better deal. Just like with shopping for your boat, you should be sure to research different companies and compare their offers. While you’ll get what you pay for when it comes to insurance, it’s worth it to choose a cheaper policy if it provides similar coverage.

    You should also pay attention to optional insurance coverage. Many companies will allow you to tweak your deductible for a lower premium, but that’s not your only option. Look at your policy carefully and consider removing options that don’t apply to your regular boating conditions, but be sure you won’t put yourself at higher risk without them.

    If you have a new boat, you’ll likely want comprehensive coverage to protect against all types of accidents. However, as it gets older and depreciates, you can change to just liability coverage, which is often far less expensive. You’ll still need to consider maintenance costs, but saving a bit of money can go a long way.

    Taking boating safety courses and being careful to avoid accidents may give you a safe boater discount. Don’t be afraid to ask what else you can recieve as a discount or a bonus.

    What Is Boat Insurance Coverage

    Boat insurance coverage is insurance tailored for boats. A boat insurance policy typically includes coverage for physical damage and liability in case someone is injured. It may generally cover:

    • Physical Damage: This covers physical loss or damage and includes attached equipment and furnishings of the boat. It only covers certain incidents which typically do not include insect damage, mold or normal wear and tear.
    • Theft: This can cover both the actual boat and the belongings on it.
    • Bodily Injury: This liability insurance provides monetary assistance if a boater causes someone else injury while operating the boat.
    • Guest Passenger Liability: This liability coverage steps in if a passenger on the boat is injured. Liability insurance is especially important on a boat, where slips and falls are common.
    • Towing: This helps keep boaters from being stranded on the water.

    There are discounts available for boat insurance, as well. Boaters who don’t hit the water during the winter, carry a Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher, have completed safety courses for boating and have ship-to-shore radios are eligible for boat insurance discounts.

    If you’re an agent selling boat insurance it’s important to discuss coverage limits. Boats may be covered other under policies, such as home and auto, but that coverage may be limited.

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    What States Require Boat Insurance

    As of right now, only two states have boat insurance lawsâArkansas and Utah. In Arkansas, all motorboats powered by engines of more than 50 horsepower, and all PWC, must be covered by a liability insurance policy. The policy must provide at least $50,000 of liability coverage, and it is illegal to operate the PWC without the required insurance.

    In Utah, all motorboats and PWC are required to carry ownerâs or operatorâs liability insurance when operated on Utah waters. Motorboats equipped with engines less than 50 horsepower and airboats are exempt. It is illegal to operate a PWC on Utah waters without the required insurance.

    Utahâs boat insurance policy requires the following minimum coverage limits per occurrence:

    • $25,000 for bodily injury per person.
    • $50,000 for total bodily injury if multiple people are hurt in the accident.
    • $15,000 for property damage.

    There are some instances of states requiring insurance for boats used in some state parks or kept in some state-operated marinasâcheck with your state marine board or alternative governing agency to see if you are impacted.

    The Location Of The Boat

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    Some areas of the world are more dangerous to boat in than other areas. The insurance plan you get will reflect this reality.

    For instance, a person using their boat off the coast of Alaska is far more likely to suffer damage to their boat than someone who uses their boat in a sheltered inlet in New Jersey.

    Even the areas that the boat will be driven through can change the cost of insurance. For example, a boat owner in Philadelphia who uses their boat in New Jersey will have to drive through the city to get to their destination.

    This increases the chances that the boat will be in an auto accident and thus increases insurance costs.

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    How To Reduce The Risk And Yacht Insurance Premium Cost

    Just like any other insurance policy, your yacht insurance premium cost will depend on the level of risk, i.e. where in the world you intend to sail her and how she is secured. Here are a few top tips from our experts at Admiral Yacht Insurance on reducing risk:

    • Before you buy a second hand yacht make sure you arrange for a full out of water survey by an independent surveyor.
    • You are also advised to have the rigging checked. If the rigging is more than 10 years old it should be replaced and you therefore need to factor this into your offer.
    • Ask for an alternative quote with a higher than normal excess, as comparison, as this will reduce the premium.
    • Never insure for a larger cruising area than you need. If you are not sure you can always ask for an option to extend the cruising area for an additional premium.

    If you would like more information on keeping your yacht insurance costs to a minimum or require advice on the type of insurance cover you will need, and an indication of cost, prior to buying a yacht please contact our team of experts who will guide you through the process.

    Admiral Marine Ltd is part of the Hayes Parsons group of companies and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN 306002. Registered in England No. 02666794 at Beacon Tower, Colston Street, Bristol BS1 4XE.

    Where Do I Get Boat Insurance

    The easiest way to get boat insurance is to work with an independent auto or homeowners insurance agent.

    Our network of Endorsed Local Providers will compare policies from multiple insurers to find the best one for your boat. And our agents will go a step further: Theyll teach you how to actually understand your boat insurance policy so you can be confident youre getting the insurance you needwithout costly extras.

    About the author

    Ramsey Solutions

    Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

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